Sunday, August 25, 2013

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...

...After a long couple of days on the road, I relaxed last night with a short and sweet 73-minute classic, RIDE LONESOME (1959). I saw this film for the first time last summer and wanted to watch it again's that good. Everything about this Randolph Scott film, directed by Budd Boetticher, is perfection, including the cast, story construction, perfectly delivered dialogue, Lone Pine locations, and widescreen cinematography by Charles Lawton Jr. Very highly recommended.

...Last weekend I briefly mentioned that TCM would be starting a Classic Film Tour in New York City. My fellow TCM Classic Film Fest bloggers Will, of Cinematically Insane, and Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen, were both on hand to cover the launch and share all the wonderful details. Not only was Robert Osborne there to send off the first tour, but Jane Powell came along as well! That's cinematic heaven! Both blogs have great photos of the day.

...Coinciding with the start of the bus tour, the New York Times published a very interesting article, "TCM Moves to Lure Film Buffs Out of Their Living Rooms." The article covers the various ways the network is forming a sense of community and a "lifestyle brand," including the TCM Classic Film Festival, the TCM Classic Cruise, and now the tour.

...More great news for TCM fans is that Robert Osborne says, "I feel better than I have in a long time." He is happy with a slightly reduced on-air schedule and the ability to film intros in his native New York, rather than Atlanta. I can happily say that Mr. Osborne looked terrific at the TCM Festival last spring!

...More happy news: 85-year-old Vin Scully announced he intends to return for an amazing 65th season broadcasting Dodgers baseball in 2014. There's no way to overstate my admiration for Scully, and this is fantastic news indeed.

...And even more happy news: Fans of political commentator Mary Katharine Ham will want to check out this cute pic of Mary Katharine, her husband Jake, and their brand-new baby girl, Georgia. Congratulations!

...Another for the "Totally Unnecessary Remake" Department: Discovery and Lions Gate want to remake the epic '80s ABC miniseries NORTH AND SOUTH.  Both Books I and II were grand fun -- the less said about Book III, the better -- with younger actors like Patrick Swayze, James Read, Genie Francis, Jonathan Frakes, and Kirstie Alley backed by Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Gene Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor. This soapy, compulsively watchable Civil War saga is available in a very nice DVD set. Fun trivia: Frakes and Francis, pictured here, met on the N&S set and have been married since 1988; Read and Wendy Kilbourne, who played his onscreen wife, also met during filming and likewise have been married since 1988.

...Reviews, reviews, and more reviews: Jennifer Garlen reviews Esther Williams in DANGEROUS WHEN WET (1953) at Virtual Virago...DVD Savant Glenn Erickson reviews what looks like a fun Tarzan film from the Warner Archive, TARZAN AND THE SLAVE GIRL (1950)...My favorite Fred and Rita movie, YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942), received a five-star review from Paul at Lasso the Movies...Jessica checked out BABIES FOR SALE (1940), with Glenn Ford and Rochelle Hudson, at Comet Over Hollywood...the Self-Styled Siren writes on Lubitsch's HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1943), with Don Ameche and Gene Tierney...and John DiLeo reviews Robert Young in THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947) at Screen Savers.

...I've previously mentioned NBC's plans for a live broadcast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC this December 5th, starring Carrie Underwood. Stephen Moyer was just announced to play Captain Von Trapp. (P.S. If NBC follows past practice, this performance will only be "live" on the East would be nice if the network would actually show it live across the entire country, rather than limiting it to primetime hours and sticking the West with a recording.)

...I love that THE DIVORCEE (1931) inspired Karen to buy a percolator, as she recounts at Shadows and Satin.

...The Victoria & Albert Museum in London has acquired the Vivien Leigh Archive.

...As someone who prefers super-crusty baguettes, this article on the changing French baguette to a soft, doughy loaf is rather sad. Hopefully it's a trend that won't last!

...R. Emmet Sweeney of TCM's Movie Morlocks discusses two film noir titles starring Mark Stevens, CRY VENGEANCE (1954) and TIMETABLE (1956). I'm intrigued by the information that CRY VENGEANCE was shot in Ketchikan, Alaska, and I look forward to seeing it.

...Royalty Watch: If anyone happened to miss it, the first photos of Prince George of Cambridge were released last week. He's shown with his parents and the family dog.

...I was certainly sorry to learn that Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing. She and I may not share common ground when it comes to politics, but I've always very much enjoyed her singing, whether it's her early hits, standards with Nelson Riddle, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Mexican classics, or Latin swing. A sad loss, and I hope she's doing well battling the disease.

...Notable Passings: Novelist Elmore Leonard died on August 20, age 87. Movies inspired by his books include Randolph Scott and Budd Boetticher's THE TALL T (1957), Delmer Daves' 3:10 to YUMA (1957) which starred Glenn Ford and Van Heflin, and the George Clooney film OUT OF SIGHT (1998), directed by Steven Soderbergh...Tom Christian, the great-great-great grandson of HMS BOUNTY mutineer Fletcher Christian, passed away on Pitcairn Island last month, age 77. As a kid I was fascinated by the 1935 Clark Gable movie, the trilogy of books by Nordhoff and Hall, and the complicated history of Pitcairn Island.

Have a great week!


Blogger barrylane said...

Ride Lonesome is a film we have no trouble agreeing pon. Everything connects. Just fine.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Lee Van Cleef's character, Frank, in "Ride Lonesome" has got to be one of the coldest villains of all time. "I did him a hurt once. So long ago I almost forgot."

Remake "North and South"? I have such fond memories of the series and Bill Conti's sweeping score.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, Van Cleef makes a big impression in a small part. Such great actors and dialogue in RIDE LONESOME.

Glad to know you both admire the film as well!

Like Caftan Woman, I loved Bill Conti's NORTH AND SOUTH score -- bought it on LP. Conti's THE RIGHT STUFF score is on the other side -- looks like it's still available on both CD and vinyl.

Best wishes,

10:39 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Thanks for posting the new schedule! My DVR is going to be very busy recording in November!

5:09 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hi, Laura! Thanks so much for the mention about my percolator! Loved the trivia about the North and South couples -- I did not know about either of them. I loved that miniseries, and the books, too. Remake, bah.

7:08 PM  
Blogger john knight said...

Hi Laura,
Welcome back!
Must replace my old "off air" copy of CRY VENGEANCE with
Olive Films lovely new version in widescreen.
A great Noir but tough to watch at times Mark Stevens in
top form as the physically and emotionally scarred anti-
Watch out too for the great Skip Homier as a psycho hit
man,and Joan Vohs as his alcoholic girl friend.
Do not know too much about Joan Vohs but I also enjoyed
her in an excellent Western FORT YUMA where she played a
missionary;quiet a contrast to her role in CRY VENGEANCE.
Was very sad to hear about Linda Ronstadt I loved her in those early days when she was the queen of Country Rock.
So sad that she will never sing again but her many fans
have a wonderful recorded legacy.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad I could help provide info for your recording this fall, Tom! :)

Hi Karen! Just loved your percolator story -- I love retro kitchenware. Isn't that fun about the NORTH AND SOUTH couples? There were at least a couple other marriages which resulted -- Parker Stevenson and Kirstie Alley come to mind, although unfortunately their marriage didn't last like the ones I mentioned.

Best wishes,

11:13 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi John!

CRY VENGEANCE will be new to me. Like so many other actresses of the '50s, I know the name Joan Vohs because she was in a MAVERICK episode -- one of the earliest, "The Long Hunt." I'll be watching for her in CRY VENGEANCE.

My husband and I enjoyed seeing Linda in concert with Nelson Riddle in the '80s, at the Universal Ampitheatre -- which I recently heard may be removed to make room for a Harry Potter land at the Studios.

Best wishes,

11:17 PM  

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